There must be something in the water in Canada, the sheer abundance of talented and creative composers that I come across from Canada is astounding to me. The likes of Lyndsie Aguire, Simon Trottier and Nicolas Bernier spring to mind immediately when one associates "netlabel" and "Canada". It is a rich culture of creativity, and SIGHUP continues this trend with an intensely focused and meticulous release in City Passage.
Steve Hamann is the mind behind SIGHUP, an exploration into ambient music that has had a life over the last decade. Hamann describes his heavily textured ambient pieces as "the abstracted way in which people understand and process place" and there is no better way to describe City Passage. The three tracks, spread over 20 minutes take you on a journey through a musical metropolis where Hamann successfully synthesises electronically manipulated sounds from the streets of Toronto with deep swells of ambience.
City import combines cold layers of sound with abrasive manipulated recordings that loop and grow louder with every passing second. The sense of place and location here is vivid as your mind locks into the groove of mangled sounds before they die away, seemingly habituated out of consciousness, only to return once again. The city is a dark place at times and I am reminded of grey cement filled construction sites, devoid of colour as City import slowly fades away.
Though Hamann paints a sombre picture of the city, with its tall buildings stretching to the sky and cars humming in the distance he doesnât let go of the human aspect of the city. City Passage slowly builds with a child's voice; words echo and are indiscernible but nevertheless human as an ambient wall of sound shifts its weight, caught in between the child and the bustling streets. Whenever I feel like taking a stroll through the streets of Toronto taking in and ignoring what I please all I will need is a pair of headphones and City Passage to keep me company.
Toronto-based musician Steve Hamann has been composing and performing electronic noise/ambient music as SIGHUP for the past decade. Recent works by SIGHUP have focused on the idea of the ambient experience, the abstracted way in which people understand and process place. At the heart of City Passage is the daily routine of slowly passing through a city, a meditation on both listening to and ignoring the metropolitan experience.The work is a continuation of SIGHUP's explorations of framing and transforming non-electronic sounds through electronic processes. All field recordings used were captured in Toronto, and all instruments were played/recorded by Steve Hamann.
CONTACTS OF THE ARTIST twitter: http://twitter.com/Steve_Hamann & webpage: http://www.sighup.ca/